Innovating Through Artistry

Archive for July, 2007|Monthly archive page

Hey My Blue Star Readers

In Author: Lisa Canning, Emotional Intelligence, ENTREPRENEUR THE ARTS, Writing on July 31, 2007 at 9:57 pm

blue-star1If you are one of my blue star (test batch) readers, I am pleased to tell you that your copy of Build A Blue Bike will be mailed to you on Thursday. I am off to Italy on Saturday to perform as a soloist (very fun gig) with a wind ensemble for a week and I will be eagerly awaiting your feedback and suggestions. I am extending your reading time, since I am a few days late in mailing it, until the end of September. I am also offering a prize for the best feedback which I will share more with you about in the cover letter with the manuscript.

You are true pioneers for being brave enough to read Build A Blue Bike and for being willing to give it a test ride. For both those good deeds, all of you will have a blue star in my book by your names.

Besides, you might just wind up building a blue bike of your very own, and that would give you 2….

The Life of Will Riley

In THE BLUE BIKE SHOP STORIES on July 30, 2007 at 10:54 pm

“There’s nothing quite like the smell of new rubber,” Will thought, as he sat at the bar alone in The Blue Bike Shop. This was the third time this week Will had been in there looking for that one tire, looking to satisfy his desire; just like a true addict.

Sniffing the crisp new rubber odor, each squeeze expelled was pure pleasure for Will Riley.

Will knew all too well the smell of greasy stained tires because his crusty auto repair shop had lots of them lying around. On a hot summer day like today, the stench would slither under his nose, hovering long enough to make him first queasy, and then faint. It was hard enough on his neck, having his head under the hood of a car all day, without the occasional sensation of vomit thrusting up his throat from the stench. It had just happened today, just exactly that same way, like all the other hot days in that greasy shop.

“Why do I come here sniffing tires,” Will thought. “There has got to be something wrong with me. I guess I can’t seem to get any new ones in my shop so I come here instead. My life is full of greasy tires.”

As Will let that thought go, he realized he had been sitting at the Bike Bar for too long . It was 5:15. His wife would be pissed as hell if he came home before dinner drunk again from the bar for the third time this week.

“Thanks for the beer. Are you sure I can’t pay you for this one?” Will said, as he looked back at the clerk on his way out the front door of The Blue Bike Shop.

“Nope,” replied the clerk. “Just come on in again Will. Maybe one day you can pick out a blue bike and take it for a spin, see how much you like it.”

“Oh, I could never do that,” replied Will. “That would ruin the sweet smell of some new tire and I might never feel the same about this shop. I just come in to look and you know, dream a little.”

With that the clerk replied, “But Will, your dreams can’t possibly come true without checking out how your favorite blue bike rides.”

Will’s face turned red as he clenched his teeth pulling the door to the bike shop firmly behind him, “I’ll be damned if anyone’s going to tell me that I have to do anything with my dreams. I am a tire sniffer, damn it, and there is nothing more to it than that. I ain’t ever leavin’ Nowhere.”

Ebb and Flow

In Creative Support on July 20, 2007 at 10:42 pm

Creative progress is not something easy to control. Sometimes you move forward and sometimes you stand still. At the moment I am standing still. I hate standing still. I become afraid I will not move forward again the longer I stand still. Can you relate?

I am in the middle of creating several new pieces of music using clarinet. The framework of these pieces is founded in classical music but I am transforming them into new modern shapes using all kinds of toys found in the recording studio.

The freedom to create musically is exhilarating and foreign to me. For years I have lived in the confines of classical music and what appears on the written page. But now I wish to create my own pieces using my imagination as the guiding light and largely without the structure that classical music provides.

I have always wanted to find a way to create a more popular style that includes classical elements into it. I want the clarinet to be used in more popular music and to be more accessible and interesting to those who never have really listened to it before.

But my creativity is cyclical and when its flow has stopped I begin to fear it will never come back. No matter how many times I go through this process, the fear still manages to convince me, for some period of time, that I will never be creative again. And then of course, it fades away and what appears next is usually a new perspective and a new creative direction.

Why do we doubt our power as creative spirits? Why as creative individuals do we feel this need to define our souls by the creativity we produce? Perhaps we let out ego’s take over or perhaps as sensitive creatures we allow our self esteem to be impacted by our impatience, high expectations, and perfectionism. Or perhaps we simply don’t spend enough time focusing on the things that are important to us to allow our creativity to flow.

When I find myself standing still, unable to spark my creative efforts, I know its time to rest and spend some time just sitting back for awhile. We are off to Door County for a couple of days and I can hardly wait to see American Folk Lore Theater and Peninsula Players Theater. Soaking up The Door is just what the God of creative inspiration has ordered.

Little Miss Sunshine

In Creative Support, Current Events on July 16, 2007 at 2:16 pm

Little Miss Sunshine will be on HBO Saturday July 21st at 8pm CT. Michael Beugg, a friend of mine, who attended The Kellogg School of Management while I was an undergraduate in the music school at Northwestern, is one of the movies Executive producer’s.

Little Miss Sunshine is about a dysfunctional family’s road trip to enter their child in a beauty pageant. The movie was released in August of 2006 and won 2 Oscars.

But the more interesting story is about Michael Beugg.

As a highly intellectual nerdy business school student, Mike was part of a larger group of people from the business and engineering school I hung around to learn more about business. As the only” creative” one in this group, it was fascinating to watch Mike’s development. Instead of going after a high paying consulting job, like most of the people I knew from this group, Mike started taking acting lessons. It was at first comical because while he was very interested in film he was not someone you could imagine acting or doing it well.

But Mike continued to pursue acting, for his love of film, and started to work behind the scenes; eventually acting and directing in several seasons of America’s Most Wanted. As time has past, with his keen sense and abilities in finance, Mike has worked his way into the role of executive producer.

It is rare to find someone from the business world looking towards the creative field as true opportunity. Most who do stumble into it; but don’t seek it out like Mike did. It’s as rare to find someone in the creative world who can blend it with business to find true opportunity.

But, from my experience, it is far easier for a creative person to become a successful business person than the other way around. Why? Because you and I already have what I watched Michael Beugg work so hard to try and obtain: creativity.

About Little Miss Sunshine

Brevard Conference on Music Entrepreneurship 7/27-29

In Current Events on July 11, 2007 at 2:53 am

The Brevard Conference on Music Entrepreneurship (BCOME) is quickly approaching. In its 2nd year, it appears Michael Drapkin has some new exciting things to offer those who participate.

This year’s keynote speakers are is Bill Ivey and Arlene Shrut. If you are unfamiliar with either of these 2 individuals or the organizations they are involved with, take a moment and check them out.

Bill Ivey is the Director of the Curb Center for Art at Vanderbilt University,, and the former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts under President Clinton.

Arlene Shrut, is currently the Founder and Artistic Director of New Triad for Collaborative Arts.

In addition to the main Brevard conference on July 27 – 29, 2007, BCOME will be holding one day entrepreneurship conferences at the following locations later in 07/08:

California Institute of the Arts, October 6, 2007, Valencia, California
University of South Carolina, November 3, 2007, Columbia, South Carolina
Northwestern University, February 2, 2008, Evanston, Illinois

I attended last years BCOME conference and found it to be inspirational and well attended. For more information go to

Do Not Enter

In THE BLUE BIKE SHOP STORIES on July 5, 2007 at 3:09 pm

“Do Not Enter,” cautions the sign on the red door. John stood there looking at it, wondering what to do. The guy at the bar told him that the first red door was the fastest way out of The Blue Bike Shop, but surely he must have been mistaken. As John looked down the hall, there were nothing BUT red doors, with the same white sign, with the same “Do Not Enter” boldly lettered red on each.

“What a strange place,” thought John. ” Nothin’ but blue bikes and red doors…”

The Blue Bike Shop was a brand new shop in downtown Nowhere; filled with blue bikes in every configuration imaginable – trikes, unicycles, bicycles built-for-two, mountain bikes, racing bikes and blue peddlers for the leisurely traveler.

The Blue Bike Shop had quickly become a hot spot in Nowhere. After all, The Blue Bike Shop served lunch and drinks at the Bike Bar. It was a great excuse for John to check out all the blue bikes, and dream.

John had grown up in Nowhere and had never been outside its city limits. John lived down Rural Route 7, a long dirt road, which eventually, if you stayed on it long enough, would take you out of town.

Today was the day John was going to begin that ride. Impulsively, after lunch at the Bike Bar, John decided that he was ready. With every dollar he had saved in his pocket, from his job at Solo Staffing Services, he was going to buy that blue Schwinn he had his eye on.

When he handed the money over, the cash in his hand quickly became the bike in his dream. As a celebratory gesture, the clerk who sold him the blue bike stepped behind the bar and handed him a shot of Don Julio. With John’s throat on fire and his heart pounding with excitement, he asked his server, “Tell me, what’s the fastest way out of town.”

The clerk smiled and said, “Go down the hall, and take the first red door you see. It’s the fastest way.”

Several minutes had passed as John stood in front of the red door with his new shiny blue Schwinn, reflecting on the clerks last words.

“Why in the world, would this guy have told me to go through this red door if it was not the right door?” John thought.

John had never walked through a door that said “Do Not Enter” in his life. He also had never spent his entire life’s savings on a blue bike. John looked down the hall at the other red doors and again the “Do Not Enter” signs, and then he reached for the knob to his own.

“What the hell. All my life, people have been telling me ‘Do Not Enter’ this, or do that, or try this, because it is too hard, too risky, too much work or too… something. It’s time I try to go somewhere.”

When John opened the door, this is what he saw.